MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The lights are hot, tensions are high and every eye in the crowd is on the man with the ball. Sweat pours down the face of every player as he struggles to be the one to take it to the hoop.
It’s time once again for the Commanding General’s Intramural Basketball League. In the standings this year are: 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment; Headquarters Battalion, Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital, 1st Tanks and two teams from Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School.
Practice games were held Tuesday and Thursday so the teams could gear up, check out the other teams and address any weak spots in their game play before the season officially begins Jan. 19.
“We’ve got six teams this year and possibly a seventh team. It’s going to be a good season,” said Skip Best, Marine Corps Community Services athletics director.
Headquarters Battalion returned this year with many of the same players from last season and may hold an advantage in this time around because of the seasoned players.
“Our starting five players all played together last year,” said Lance Raymond, Headquarters Battalion team coach. “We absolutely hold an advantage this year.”
The Naval Hospital team also returned this year, but with fresh, new faces to fill out the team roster this season.
“We are going to do quite well this season,” said James Redmond, Naval Hospital chaplain and team coach. “There’s a lot of skill in this team. They have the talent. I just have to be a good coach.”
One of the Naval Hospital players from last year looks forward to starting fresh with the new season.
“We had a good team last year, but we found our chemistry late in the season,” said Dempsey Tomblin, Naval Hospital radiology. “This year, we have a lot of new additions, new faces. We got a lot of to work with. We’re going to make it competitive. It’ll be a fun season.”
With 1st Tanks returning to the league, the team coach claims his team is a little better prepared this year’s season.
“With the deployment schedule slowing down, we have more Marines available to play with a little more talent,” said William S. Harvey, 1st Tanks team coach. “Last year we struggled just to put a team together. This year they have more of a concept of offence and defense. I think we’ll do rather well.”